Parents of stone throwing thugs urged to take action

October 10, 2016

The ongoing scourge of dangerous stone throwing by youths in the Carnagat/Derrybeg/Camlough Road area of Newry has been met with further condemnation and anger, with desperate residents expressing their disgust at the continuation of the attacks launched against motorists, despite the intervention of community groups and the public backlash about the incidents.

Local residents became fired up about the resurgence of the attacks after the PSNI Newry and Mourne revealed on their Facebook page that one of their vehicles had been targeted while responding to a call in Derrybeg on Wednesday night.

“Fortunately the rocks were able to deflect from our vehicle without any major damage, however Newry will now have one less police vehicle to attend serious incidents such as burglaries, domestics, assaults and Road traffic collisions,” read the PSNI post.

“The only people these youths are affecting are those in their own community not to mention the taxpayer whose pocket the repair costs will be coming out of.

“How would you feel if you or your family had their car attacked from these stone throwers? Or if your family member was killed or seriously injured as a result of a motorist having to swerve to avoid their vehicle being hit?”

The post received a blistering response from fed up locals however, many of whom criticised police for a perceived inadequate response to the incidents.  One member of the public angrily accused the PSNI of only highlighting the issue because one of their own vehicles had come under the same onslaught that several other motorists have been subjected to over the last number of months, while another claimed that despite naming the culprits responsible for attacking his vehicle, police had failed to speak to the individuals. The general consensus among those who took to social media to voice their concerns is that police need to do more to bring those responsible to task and that community groups in the area need to come together once again to tackle the issue, with many calling for the parents of the youths responsible to be exposed in an effort to end the senseless attacks before someone is killed or seriously injured.

Condemning the latest bout of vandalism and stone throwing, Independent Councillor and Newry Unite community activist, Davy Hyland, called for parents “to be more aware of what their children are getting up to at night.”

“The stone throwing on the Camlough road, is absolutely senseless,” said Mr Hyland.

“Many motorists have sustained damage to their vehicles by these mindless little thugs. In the past, Unite in the community have distributed leaflets throughout Parkhead and Derrybeg to highlight the dangers of such behaviour; we have also called on the parents to be more aware of what their children are getting up to when they leave the house.

“The ostrich approach to parenting, were one sticks their head in the sand and claims to be oblivious to their children’s actions doesn’t wash. We all have a responsibility to the communities in which we dwell.”

Commenting on a recent upsurge in general vandalism in the Parkhead area, the councillor added,

“It was brought to my attention that a number of street lights had their transformers ripped out, plunging the area into darkness. With the onset of winter and the dark nights; this is a worrying development. The stone throwing and vandalism has to stop, otherwise someone will get seriously hurt or a family may lose a loved one!”